Errol Spence ready to take Mayweather’s spot as No.1 fighter

By Boxing News - 01/10/2018 - Comments

Image: Errol Spence ready to take Mayweather’s spot as No.1 fighter

By Allan Fox: Now that Floyd Mayweather Jr. has ridden off into the sunset, IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. (22-0, 19 KOs) is ready to take his spot as the No1 fighter in boxing. Light heavyweight Andre ‘SOG’ Ward could have taken over for Mayweather, but he cleared out quickly.

Some would say Ward didn’t want to deal with the heat breathing down his neck from Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev. Who knows? But with Ward gone, Spence is vying for the top spot in the sport.

There’s a difference between a fighter being picked as the No.1 pound-for-pound by Ring Magazine and ESPN, and them being considered the most fighter in boxing. There’s an enormous difference. Being picked out by a small group of people by ESPN and Ring Magazine doesn’t make you the No.1 fighter. To become the top guy, the boxing fans must want to see you fight on PPV, and you’ve got to bring big numbers.

The guys that were recently No1 in the pound for pound rankings, Andre Ward and Roman Gonzalez, they were not the most popular fighters in boxing. They were picked out by sports writers rather than the public as the No1 guy. Errol Spence is looking to become the No.1 guy in boxing in terms of popularity. That’s going to be tough for him to do with him fighting once every 8 months or so. Moreover, it isn’t going to happen with Spence fighting guys like Lamont Peterson. Spence needs to be fighting guys like Keith Thurman, Terence Crawford, Danny Garcia, Manny Pacquiao, Jeff Horn, Amir Khan and Shawn Porter. I wish Spence lots of luck trying to get those guys to fight him, because they won’t. This is boxing. If this was the NFL, they would be forced to fight Spence. They don’t have to compete against Spence in this sport though, and I don’t think many of them ever will.

Spence, 27, has some competition for the No.1 position in boxing in former unified light welterweight champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford and Vasyl Lomachenko, but those 2 seem to have something missing from their game that is required for them to become the stop fighters in boxing. Lomachenko is too much of a light punching show boater, and he’s in the wrong division. I don’t see the boxing world ever becoming enthralled with super featherweight and lightweight division. Lomachenko is in the wrong division to become the No.1 fighter in boxing. For him to have a chance of taking over the top spot, he’ll need to move up to at least 140.

“Everybody wants to be that number-one guy in boxing,” Spence said. “Not just in their weight division, or even their country. With Floyd Mayweather and Andre Ward gone, that just leaves it wide open to see who is the best fighter in the world. I think that’s what we are all fighting for, that’s what Terence Crawford, that’s what Lomachenko are fighting for, and that’s what I am after.”

Here are the candidates to take over for Mayweather as the No. 1 fighter in boxing:

Errol Spence Jr. – He’s a good fighter, but he doesn’t fight enough and he’s not competing against the right gus to increase his popularity to the point where he grabs the No.1 position

Vasyl Lomachenko – Too small, fights in the wrong division, and doesn’t sit down on his punches enough

Terence Crawford – He’s a counter puncher, but without the hand speed or the flashiness that Mayweather possessed. Crawford runs too much, and wastes time showboating. Crawford doesn’t stay in the pocket enough, and he doesn’t pressure his opponents the way he needs to for him to become a star

Aleksandr Usyk – He boxes too much, and moves far too much to be the No.1 fighter

Anthony Joshua – He has issues with his punch resistance and stamina. Joshua never fights in the U.S, so that’ll hold him back big time when it comes to him trying to take over the No.1 spot. Joshua is too musclebound. His priorities appear to be mixed up. He doesn’t know if he wants to be a boxer or a bodybuilder

Gennady Golovkin – A good fighter with an exciting style of fighting, but he lacks a built-in fan base in the U.S to make him the No.1 fighter

Saul Canelo Alvarez – Has a lot of fans, but he keeps getting beaten. He clearly lost to Golovkin. Canelo can’t become the No.1 fighter, because he’s not shown himself to be able to beat the best. He a loss to Mayweather, has a controversial wins over Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara, and a very disputed draw against GGG. Canelo is a guy that fights only in spurts, and he doesn’t have the size to be the best in the weight class he fights in. Canelo can’t make a career out being saved by controversial scoring. That’s what’s hurting Canelo. He should have at least 3 more losses on his resume, but the questionable scoring he’s been getting has saved him

Keith Thurman – There’s little chance that Thurman will take over the top spot in boxing. He’s too fragile, and he’s not challenging himself to fight the best. Ever since Thurman started tasted success, he’s been playing it safe by avoiding guys like Spence. Thurman lacks the courage needed to be the best. Whatever popularity Thurman has now, I see it waning in the future. He lacks the ambition, and his body is failing him already at 28

Mikey Garcia – He’s in the wrong division in fighting at lightweight, and he’s not showing much courage by not moving up to face the likes of Terence Crawford. Garcia could potentially be the No.1 fighter if he moved up to welterweight and took on the best, but he’s not going to do that. He’s talking about wanting to move back down to 135 to fight Jorge Linares. That tells you were Mikey’s mind is at. There are No.1 stars in boxing coming from the lightweight division. Mikey needs a good promoter to guide his career. He seems to hurting his own efforts with his decision making when it comes to the fights he takes.

Spence (22-0, 19 KOs) needs to shine against Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KOs) in their fight on Showtime Boxing at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. For Spence to stay in the running as one of the guys to eventually take over for Mayweather, he’s going to need to look sensational every time he fights.